Not too long ago, University of Mary Washington alumnus Will McCarry ’14 was jamming with a couple of friends in a Westmoreland Hall dorm room. Five years and countless noise complaints later, his band, Wylder, is gearing up to play their first cruise line music festival.
Formerly known as Save the Arcadian, Wylder will set sail this January with 2,500 music fans as part of Rock the Boat, the “world’s largest floating music festival.” Hosted by alternative rock band Sister Hazel, the tour will also feature artists Barenaked Ladies, Need to Breathe and Will Hoge.
“That’s going to be a big achievement,” said McCarry, Wylder’s vocalist and guitarist, and one of two remaining members of the original Save the Arcadian lineup.
Although it started with all UMW students, today the folk-rock band consists of McCarry alongside fellow Mary Washington alums Lonnie Southall and Jackson Wright, and Mike Pingley, a William and Mary graduate. Wylder debuted its first album, Rain and Laura, in April 2016 and since then has performed along the East Coast and beyond from Nashville to Boston.
“The ultimate goal was always to reach listeners,” McCarry said. “Every time we go to a show and someone is there singing the words – that’s why we keep doing this.”
The band has returned to play on the UMW campus for events like Rocktoberfest and frequents Fredericksburg venues like Adventure Brewing and Legume, where they performed this October.
“Both Mary Washington and Fredericksburg were hugely instrumental in helping us build a following and establish a fan base from the early outset,” said McCarry, naming faculty, staff and even student groups that helped them break ground on campus. “Professors such as Mark Snyder were instrumental in giving me the confidence to follow this passion, and the whole community provided a welcoming atmosphere for a group of guys who wanted to get a foothold.”
For more information about Wylder, visit http://wyldermusic.com/.